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A Journal on Internal Medicine and Pharmacology


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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2009 October;168(5):335-8

language: English

The enhancement of muscle strength in mental retarded child using a newly developed tricycle

Kato M. 1, Shibuya T. 2, Kudo S. 3, Mori N. 1

1 Department of Health and Nutrition, Yonezawa Women’s Junior College of Yamagata Prefecture, Yonezawa, Yamagata, Japan
2 Creative studio Corporation, Yonezawa, Yamagata, Japan
3 Department of Physical Therapy, Akita University Graduate School of Health, Akita, Japan
4 Department of Occupational Therapy, Yamagata Prefectural University of Health Sciences, Yamagata, Japan


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This study investigated the effects of using a new tricycle for improving leg muscle strength in a mentally retarded (MR) child. One mentally retarded girl and three normal children participated in this study. Before the intervention, the isometric muscle strength of all of the children was measured using cycle-type equipment adjusted to the same position as in the tricycle. The leg strength of the MR child was one third that of the three normal subjects. In addition, the urinary 17-ketosteroids (17-KS) and 17-hydroxycorticosteroids (17-OHCS) were measured in the MR child before the intervention. The MR child trained twice a week for 6 weeks. The isometric muscle strength and urinary hormones were remeasured after the intervention. Compared to before training, the muscle strength of the MR child increased 10.7% in the right leg and 15.0% in the left leg. The urinary 17-KS level increased 9.1% after training, whereas the 17-OHCS level decreased 17.5%. The hormone changes indicate the facilitation of anabolism. In addition, the subject’s parents and teacher said that the child seemed to enjoy riding on the tricycle and that she became livelier and more expressive in anticipation of the exercise intervention. In summary, a tricycle is a useful training tool for enhancing the physical adaptation of MR children.

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